This year the launch for Islamophobia Awareness Month in the East Midlands was hosted by the Association of Muslim Police and held at the beautiful St. Peters Church in Highfields.
The event was kicked off by an address from Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq who stated that ‘religious institutions need to get involved in the conversation around Islamophobia’.
The event boasted a strong line-up of keynote speakers including Ahmed Kasu (Community Organisation working with young people), Councillor Sharman Rahman (Stoneygate), Shockat (volunteer from MEND) and Rob Nixon (Deputy Chief Constable for Leicestershire).
There were approx. 75-80 members of the audience with representation from various organisations within the East Midlands including leaders from different faith communities, councillors and representatives of education unions to name a few.
Rob Nixon made a clear commitment for the police to take a ‘zero tolerance approach to Islamophobia in all forms’ and encouraged it to be reported regardless of how small it may be. He also committed to making the Leicestershire constabulary the most diverse in the UK and truly representative of the community they serve.
Councillor Sharman spoke about her experiences as a female Muslim politician and encouraged Muslims to continue to strive for representation in political spaces despite the difficulties they may endure.
Shockat, a volunteer from MEND in Leicester, presented the trajectory of Islamophobia and where the UK could end up if we do not tackle this problem, citing examples of overt islamophobia in places around the world such as the banning of headscarves in France and the persecution of Uyghurs in China.
The evening ended with a few words from Reverend Jonathan (St.Peters) who preached the importance of unity amongst all people against all forms of discrimination including Islamophobia.